Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Birth Tweeting, Over Sharing?

I am of the opinion that there is no such thing as over sharing online. As long as what you are sharing is your own story, and you are not damaging anyone, then share away. I believe that if you don’t like what someone is sharing, if it hard waters your delicates or is offensive to you in some way, then simply don’t read it. Seriously. Not that hard.

There has been a great deal of peering down the end of flared nostrils at people “Over sharing” their birth process on social media. Most recently, @Claire, the Twitter employee who live tweeted her labor, under the hashtag #InLabor.

Within minutes the birth went viral, and subsequently brought about disgruntled commenters such as this angry person;

'Ok usually I would be like, oh ok congrats. But this is just really self cantered and like, craving attention? Or? I don't even know. Like actually tweeting a pic of your @ sweatshirt? I just feel like its really pathetic and honestly, women have babies every day. No one but your family and close friends are going to care'

Or this happy ball of rainbows…

'Definitive proof that we are becoming a culture of oversharing, self-absorbed narcissists!! Give birth to your daughter and keep family time private!! UNBELIEVABLE!'

I’d go on, but gag.

I for one am just going to say that I CARE OK??!!
I personally, love a good labor tale. Any labor tale. 
The more details the better. 

I don’t care if we are related, best friends, just friends, acquaintances. Let’s be honest, I really don’t even care if I know you, or if I have never clapped eyes on you, if we have ever spoken or I even know your name.


Then again that’s me. I am happy to devour every word. I have been known to openly weep, at least four times during any given episode of Deliver me, and I don’t even really like that show that much, the perkiness makes me want to burn shit down, but then there is something about the miracle of seeing a new life take their first breath and the relief and joy in the faces of those involved that leaves me ugly crying all over my ipad, shaking my head at the miracle of it and dribbling while I manage a weak “Oh, MY!! Congratulations!!” between snot bubbles.

I’m not saying you should react like this, I am just saying that none is holding a gun to your head; no one is making you read it.

There is a certain sisterhood when it comes to labour. After I had given birth to my eldest, my one and only natural delivery, I would lay awake listening to the primal grunts coming from down the hall, the women who would cry out and exclaim that they just couldn’t do it anymore. 

I would send them all the telepathic encouragement I could, I would be mumbling to myself, “you can do it sweet heart, you are doing it!’ You are nearly at the end, you can do ANYTHING!” I would eagerly eavesdrop on their pushing and I would silently cheer them on from my O pillow on the hospital bed “Push beautiful, PUSH!” 

OK, I admit, it is kind of creepy, but I did it. I couldn’t help it.

I found it remarkable that I could join in on @Claire the twitter employee’s birth. 
I felt privileged to be a birth cheerleader, and although I did not actively involve myself in her twitter feed, I watched and eagerly awaited any further developments. It felt wonderful to be able to join in on the joy, wonder and anticipation of such a beautiful event. It beats the usual pictures of sushi in my feed any day of the week. 

What a story it was too, I followed the labor with anticipation, I bit my fingernails as the car broke down and a tapped my foot as they waited for a taxi.

I am glad to say that Claire, the twitter employee received her fair share of encouragement too. It seems I am not alone in my sisterhood of labor cheering, with many high profile labor cheerers joining in the squad.

Finally, after much anticipation, and tweeting,
a beautiful healthy baby girl.

*Cue snot bubbles, head shaking in wonderment and ugly crying from me.

What I find more odd than someone sharing one of their most joyous moments on social media, is the fact that anyone would begrudge it.

Among the pictures of cats, general whining, pictures of meals and movie theatre check-in’s, how can the wonder of a beautiful birth be out of place among the things we share on line?

If such a thing is considered oversharing for you, then simply don’t share in it. If you couldn't fathom sharing that kind of thing yourself? Well, good for you my friend, don't.

From me though, huge congratulations to twitter employee @Claire and her family, and a huge thank you for letting us share a little in your Joy. I wish your beautiful little family all the very best.

Em xx


Little White Dove said...

It's not something I'd do, I like to retreat into my shell and get in the birthing zone too much to tweet at the same time, but like you, I love a good birth story!I How exciting it would have been to actually follow along in real time.

river said...

All I can say is I was so busy sweating and moaning through my labor each time I wouldn't have had time to tweet any thing. but congratulations to her on her baby girl. And it isn't much different from people being on the phone to family during birth.

Pinky Poinker said...

I'm with you Emmsie. When I was pregnant and in the baby zone I devoured every baby thing I could. Of course the Internet hadn't been invented then but I would've loved it. Now I'm more interested in women's gory stories of prolapsed uteri or what ever the plural is... but yes! Share for goodness sake!